If you are using a Mac in a business environment, you might want to know that Apple offers a wide range of office tools and in this article you will find several management tools for IT organizations.
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The first one we would like to talk about is Centrify Direct Control which can be considered as a solid alternative to the Active Directory plug-in provided by Apple. You might want to know that there’s a free version available called Centrify Express, but the powerful solution would have to be the commercial version which can integrate with the Active Directory for extending the schema in a safe way in order to permit administrators to apply group policies. These policies are mirroring the ones that Apple can provide in the Managed Preferences and can be considered just as scalable as other ones. We also have to mention that Direct Control has smartcard support for Mac OS X Lion.
We continue with JAMF Casper Suite that is an Apple-specific solution that is integrated with the company’s global enterprise support services. It manages to provide full lifecycle management, including here system deployments, inventory/asset management, software control and auditing, patch management and software rollouts, along with remote control for end-use support. If you haven’t heard of LANDesk before, you should know that this is a lifecycle management and multiplatform systems suite that supports Microsoft Windows OS X and Linux as well. It offers support for software discovery and distribution, patch management, centralizer security & anti-virus services, help desk functionality and several device management possibilities. Another important alternative to the Active Directory plug-in would have to be Thursby’s ADmitMac which has numerous advanced features, like DFS browsing support for those Macs that are running on an older version of the operating system. In addition, it provides smartcard support for Lion. With AdmitMac, the administrators have the possibility to tap into the Manager Preferences architecture from Apple without OS X Server. It does this by hosting client management data on a network share. Not only for Macs but also for Windows-running computers, you can use FileWave which if you did not know is a software deployment & management tool which makes it easier for you to install & remove apps with the help of a central management interface. It works just about the same as those installations based on packets, but you are able to remove software and also perform updates very easily. You could also consider Flexera which can provide license and software management solutions. For the computers running on Mac it has support for license management, auditing and software distribution. These features are also supported in Windows and Unix environments. A multi-platform IT automation suite is Puppet which is great as a Mac management tool as it provides remote discovery for your Mac system and configuration. Puppet can also support private and public cloud management as well as policy compliance solutions.
Regarding Absolute Manage, this would have to be a handy suite which focuses mostly on full lifecycle management for Macs, PCs and iOS-running devices. For Macs it has support for monolithic system imaging, inventory/asset management, patch management, software deployment, security/system change management and license management as well. Last but certainly not least, Quest gives you a wide array of enterprise management solutions like Exchange, Active Directory, network security and server & cloud virtualization. For Macs it has a Group Policy that extends Active Directory just like Centrify’s Direct Control.
posted in Apple, by BindApple
You probably have used a .zip file before if you have received or sent a large file via e-mail. Once you do a double click on such a file it will expand to show the files which are hidden inside of that archive. The whole idea behind an archive is to make it occupy less space on the hard drive in comparison to the original files so that the content will be easier to send via e-mail.
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If you’re interested in the technology behind file compression, you should know that it looks for repeating data and after that it writes an archive which gets rid of these repetitions in order to save precious space. Some of the compressed text files will occupy only 50% of the space of the original file, while JPEG ones won’t be a lot smaller since this file format already includes compression.
If you haven’t used a Mac before and you don’t know how to make a .zip file, you have to select the item or items in the Finder and after that select File > Compress Item Name. Another way to go would be by doing a right-click on the chosen item/items and after that select Compress Item Name. The process is going to be very fast if you want to compress just one file, while for a larger folder it will take a few minutes. For uncompressing a zip archive all you have to do is perform a double click on it. Once you do this Apple’s Archive Utility kicks in and handles the business. You should know that this Archive Utility will work with a wide range of archives, such as .tar, .gz or .bz. You can figure out if Archive Utility works with a certain archive format if that file is labeled with the regular .zip icon. If you don’t know where Archive Utility is, you can find it in /System/Library/Core Services/Archive Utility. After doing a double click on it, this is going to appear in the Dock. We should mention that a menu will be displayed but this is not going to show any window. In Archive Utility > Preferences you will notice an option where you can configure where the expanded files will be put. The default setting is to place the expanded files in the current directory. For modifying the destination you have to click on the menu called Save Expanded Files and then select Into. A sheet is going to appear and there you’ll have to pick a folder.
If you have old .zip archives spread all over the computer’s HDD, you might want to go to the Archive Utility and access Preferences. Now, you must perform a click on the menu called After Expanding and here you will be able to select Delete Archive, Move Archive To Trash or Move Archive To for which you’ll have to choose a folder. Remember that using the latter option is going to move the archive to the desired location, not just copy it. This means that it will be deleted from its original location. 99.9% of all people that use archives prefer the .zip format so you might want to stick with this one. However, if you are a fan of Unix, you might want to use a .cpgz archive or the .cpio archive format.
posted in iMac, by BindApple
If you are the proud owner of a brand new Mac and you haven’t used one before, in this article we are going to provide relevant info that will help you start using the computer. Your first priority after plugging in the new Mac is to think about a backup solution which although might sound boring, it can prove to be extremely useful in the future in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong. By doing a backup of the system it means that in the future there will be no risks at losing important data so better be safe than sorry and do a backup of your Mac.
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Since this is your new computer, you might as well tweak it as you prefer. In order to do this you will have to access System Preferences which can be found in the default Dock or you can access it via the Apple menu. We recommend spending some time to view every pane available and whenever you reach an option that you don’t know for sure what it does, you can either find out about it or you can simply leave it alone. You will probably want to fiddle with the default alert sound (accessed from Sound > Sound Effects) or the background images (found at Desktop & Screensaver).
We also have to recommend using Dropbox which is a free utility that aside from backing up your files, it offers the possibility to synchronize your data among various devices. After installing this application, the content that you copy to the Dropbox folder is going to be backed up by the Dropbox’s website and if you log in with another device, the content will still be there for you to use. If the Mac that you just have bought has a trackpad, you might want to spend some time learning about the numerous gestures that are supported in OS X Lion. The best way to find out more about the gestures is to go to the System Preferences and then access Trackpad where you will notice that there are three tabs for mouse shortcuts. If you move the mouse cursor to any of these tabs, you’ll get to see a video preview of how to perform a gesture. Don’t forget about the Mac App Store which can be accessed by clicking on the blue circle that has a stylized A inside it. This icon can be found in the Dock and after accessing the store you’ll notice that there are thousands of applications waiting for you. Downloading and installing these apps is a piece of cake and many of these programs are entirely free. The paid ones cost from just $1 to even a couple of hundred bucks.
Apple installs on every new Mac an application called iMovie which is a great tool for making your own video clips in only a few minutes. You also have the possibility to make some high quality trailers which will let you find out more about the iMovie’s powerful features. Also on your new Mac is an application called GarageBand with which you’re able to create music.
These are only just a few of the things that you might want to do with your brand new Mac and we’ll let you discover the rest of the stuff that can be done with a Mac.